Ukraine Crisis Response Center

By Gelena Blishteyn
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Temporary Protective Status (TPS) Legal clinic held by Urban Justice Center and pro bono attorneys Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP at the Marks JCH.

Temporary Protective Status (TPS) legal clinic held by Urban Justice Center and pro bono attorneys at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, held at the Marks JCH.

As the war in Ukraine rages, and millions are impacted and displaced by this conflict, Marks JCH has stepped up with speed, skill and urgency as we receive a growing flow of refugees who have fled Ukraine and arrived with no idea of how they will stay in the US, no idea when and if they can return home, no clear communication with loved ones left behind, and no supports or possessions – they are escaping with the clothes on their backs. In response, Marks JCH has mobilized a Ukraine Crisis Response Center utilizing our three decades of expertise serving immigrants and displaced persons. We are welcoming a steady stream of families fleeing Ukraine seeking safety in the United States and reunification with family and friends in the largest ethnic enclave of Russian and Ukrainian-speaking residents in the country.

The Marks JCH Ukraine Crisis Response Center is operating in several keys areas to provide timely resources and advocate for the needs of Ukrainians, including:

  • Transitional social services: comprehensive case management, inclusive of trauma-informed screening and assessments; applications for benefits and entitlements
  • Emergency assistance: including food cards, basic necessities, emergency cash assistance for rent support for families arriving having left everything behind in Ukraine
  • School enrollment and childcare: from year-round programs including our afterschool center and enrichment classes, enrollment support with NYC public schools and a unique partnership with Hebrew Public Charter Schools
  • Legal Referrals: onsite clinics and screenings with our partners at NYLAG, Urban Justice Center and pro bono attorneys on temporary protective status (TPS), reunification, humanitarian parole status and more
  • Mental health supports: working with our partners at Jewish Board as well as our own wide network of Russian/Ukrainian-speaking therapists we are providing supportive counseling and resources to clients suffering from trauma. As our staff and clients, especially Holocaust survivors and veterans who suffer from secondary trauma, we have been leading tailored trainings (to our team and local providers) on trauma-informed approaches to working with Ukrainian refugees.
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages: customized programs and classes to address the literacy needs of the entire family

These are only a few of the many ways the Marks JCH and our partners are working to alleviate the stress of so many arriving daily.

Each year, the Passover Haggadah reminds us that in every generation, each person, is obligated to see themselves as if he or she, personally left Egypt. This year, as we see the displacement and suffering of so many, the words of the Haggadah have taken on a new and modern meaning at the Marks JCH. Leaning upon our 95-year history of walking hand-in-hand with our clients and neighbors through transition and uncertainty, the Marks JCH leads with intention, compassion and grace.

To learn more on the growing numbers and challenges of Ukrainian refugees in NYC:

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